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Opinion: Why the IMF can’t help Mugabe’s Zimbabwe

Approximate reading time: 2 minutes

Zimbabwe is seeking to patch up their relationship with international creditors according to Foreign Affairs reports. But international creditors, including the multilateral development banks and major governments such as the United Kingdom, are anxious to re-engage with Harare.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, whose rule since 1980 has been defined by widespread fear, economic ruin, and anti-Western bombast, and who for more than a decade has refused to repay Zimbabwe’s debts, is now hoping to normalize the country’s relationship with its creditors.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) completed the second stage of its review of Zimbabwe’s progress toward economic reform September 30 and Zimbabwe’s new campaign to resolve its $9 billion debt problem is perhaps a positive sign. After all, these years, Mugabe could finally be willing to fulfill his country’s obligations and re-engage with the international community.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe

At least that’s how the IMF, the World Bank, and the African Development Bank are interpreting Mugabe’s latest moves, and they are reportedly proceeding with a debt arrears clearance plan for the government. But Mugabe’s proposed plan seems more of a mix of accounting maneuvers and new credits than a genuine commitment to reform.

More importantly, debt forgiveness would be merely a warm-up act for what Mugabe truly desires: new loans for his bankrupt government.

Zimbabwe’s main international creditors, including the multilateral development banks and major governments such as the United Kingdom, are anxious to re-engage with Harare. And it is true that the international community will play a crucial role in helping Zimbabwe to eventually recover.

Yet now is precisely the wrong time to embrace Mugabe and his coterie, who for 35 years have done little but devastate the country and enrich themselves.

Some sources have thus claimed that Zimbabwe is making backward strides instead of progress.

Source: Ghanaweb

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